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Kroger returns to Cleveland as a home-delivery fulfillment center

photo of woman in produce aisle at grocery store
Adam Melnyk
According to Jeff Metzger, who reports on the grocery industry for Best-Met Publishing, establishing a fulfillment center in the area allows Kroger to re-enter the Northeast Ohio market for less money than a traditional physical grocery store would cost.

Kroger is planning to return to Northeast Ohio, but not as a brick-and-mortar store.

The Cincinnati-based grocery chain is planning to build a fulfillment center to provide home delivery in the Greater Cleveland area.

Jeff Metzger reports on the grocery industry for Best-Met Publishing.

He says Kroger may consider a physical store in the future, but this is a low-cost way for the company to re-renter the Northeast Ohio market.

Jeff Metzger with Best-Met Publishing: Kroger's fulfillment center
MetzgerJeffHeadshot2019 (1) (2).jpg

"They wanna create penetration in markets where they're not in with a relatively inexpensive, robotics model. Not cheap but way less expensive than opening physical stores and hiring 200 people per store," Metzger said.

He says Kroger is the only grocery supplier that does not rely on third-party delivery services like Instacart for home-delivery services.

Kroger is the largest supermarket chain in the U.S. and the second-largest general retailer after Walmart.

Jay Shah is a broadcast journalist finishing her Master of Arts degree at Kent State University. She joined WKSU as a news intern in 2020 and now works as a freelance producer for Ideastream Public Media’s daily local news headlines.